I remember the day my mother sat me down and told me it was time to start wearing the hijab full time. I don’t recall having much of a reaction, because I knew the day was coming, and in a way, I thought I was mentally prepared. I was about 12 years old, and at the beginning stages of puberty, and I really had no clue, what I was getting myself into.
I initially began wearing a hijab with the correct intentions and reasoning. I knew, wearing the hijab was a sacrifice I was making for Allah(SWT), and I will seek the rewards in the afterlife, insha’Allah. In the meantime, middle school was not the best stage of my life, and being the only hijabi did not help the situation. Looking at the rest of the girls using their hair and revealing clothes, well uniforms to help enhance their beauty; I felt like the ugly duckling. I was going through a very awkward stage with my body, from chubby to skinny, and my face was filled acne. The only thing the hijab did in my opinion, highlighted my imperfections and make me stand out. With all of that being said, I was still happy and proud to be a hijabi, because it was in my heart.
One thing I did learn with age and maturity, wearing hijab is not just placing a piece of fabric on top of your head and covering your hair; you also need to dress modestly as well. That was actually a hard lesson for me to understand. I could never fully wrap my mind around covering my arms, and other clothing requirements.
As a result in high school, I began to ask questions and do research for myself. Wearing the hijab was still in my heart and I loved being a hijabi, but I realized it was no longer for the love and sacrifice, I was making for Allah(SWT), instead of for the identity and style I created for myself in hijab. I spent my senior year researching modesty and hijab in Islam, and formed a new definition, and was ready to take a step out of my comfort zone.
I decided to go into the next chapter of my life, I’m going to become an overall improved version of myself. I wanted to impact the world around me and make a difference in my community. Knowing and still valuing the lessons and principles I learned as a Muslimah, modesty was still very important to me. I finally came to terms with my definition, and realized wearing a hijab may not be apart of it. I was ready to test out my new theory, and experience life without the hijab.
I may no longer wear hijab or clothing that covers my body, but my actions and how I portray myself to the world is how I am a modest Muslimah. I care more about the way I carry myself and treat people around me, than necessarily what I wear or don’t wear on my body. The question of whether or not Muslim women are required to wear a hijab will always be a debate. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be back in hijab. Regardless, I am still a proud Muslimah, and happy with the decision I made.